Charlie Costa

November 16, 2023
Charlie  Costa

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Charlie Costa was a gifted musician, family man, and long-term fixture of the Williamsburg community since 1962. He passed away due to many complications of aging on November 16, 2023.

Charlie was an amazing human!!  In life, he was a Player, and not just of the Piano.  He came to PLAY and to enjoy every moment!!!  Whatever he did, he was “all-in”, especially back in the day, when he was playing cards with his fellow musicians back in the broom closet in-between sets.

Always the entertainer, Charlie could tell an off-color joke, weave a tale, and entice you with complete malarky… but he was a real as it gets. He was a fearless entrepreneur, a doting husband, an amazing brother, admirable son, and generous father to two children who were a package deal when he fell in love and married his wife of 50 years, BJ.

Music was the perfect aphrodisiac for BJ and Charlie.  I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with Charlie’s talent. It was next level. But it was who Charlie was as a man that made him an amazing partner and husband.  His first priority was always taking care of his wife.  Her car always had a full tank of gas, the grocery shopping was always done. And the homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs was often on the stove.

BJ’s happiness and welfare were always Charlie’s first priority. If she needed her fix of a Broadway show; tickets were purchased, flights were booked and hotel reservations were made. When she wanted a convertible bug, it appeared in the driveway.  And even from his hospital bed near the end, BJ’s microwave broke, and thanks to Amazon, Charlie took care of his wife with one final act of love.

Charlie loved his wife, he loved his Doxies, he loved his sister, he loved his children and grandchildren, he loved his whole family…the biological relatives and the chosen group of merry misfits that always joined the Costa’s for their annual “Miss-Mas” Party every January. (a celebration for those who were entertaining and serving people and working in the hospitality industry through the entire holiday season) He loved music, he loved the piano, and he loved sports…especially the Boston Red Sox!!!

Not many people can say they were a life-long career musician.  But Charlie could.

He was a virtuoso on the keys!!! Through the years, he was a part of many musical groups.  He was the bandleader in the Army band at Ft. Eustis. He taught band and chorus at York High School, and in the 1970’s and 80’s he was the leader of “The Family of Man”, an in-demand cover band that played every hotel and venue in town. If you were having a celebration, he was the man to call!!!

Additionally, he was the musical director at Wedgewood Dinner Theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia for several years.

Also, in the 1980’s he began playing at The Williamsburg Inn with his trio in the Regency Dining Room, and was a fixture there for over 30 years, playing for all the VIPs and Donors as well as countless fans who showed up regularly to cha-cha, foxtrot and waltz with his band.

Charlie never played by the rules of what people were supposed to do. Nine to Five was not in his DNA. He was a self-made man.  He was an artist, a musician and a strong businessman who wasn’t afraid to hustle. He learned at an early age, by working with his father who was also an entrepreneur in Pawtucket, RI that you needed to work harder than anyone else to achieve success.

Charlie started as a delivery boy for his father’s traveling grocery market and continued this entrepreneurial spirit by being a piano teacher and gigging musician while completing his degree from Boston University.

Charlie’s musical knowledge was better than any AI now available.  Shazzam had nothing on Charlie, and he was way more accurate.

He knew every song that ever hit the charts and could play all of them without sheet music.  He was one of those rare musicians who could play by ear and read music flawlessly. He made a habit of listening to BJ practice, just to waltz in and play the song perfectly just because he heard her practicing. He was just gifted (and annoying) that way.

Charlie was predeceased by his father, John Costa and his mother, Josephine “Jerry” Costa and nee: Ruthowski

Charlie is survived by his wife of 50 years, BJ Costa, his sister and brother in law, Carole and Ray Messier, his son and daughter-in-law : Shepherd and Linda Hester, his daughter and her husband: Elisabeth and Steven Daley, his grandchildren: Joshua, Jeremy and Julian Hester, his niece, Linda Jordan and her son Zachary. And finally, he leaves behind his beloved Doxie, Daisy.

Services will be held at Bruton Parish on December 15, 2023 at 3:00pm

To view the graveside service, click here.

Below are audio files of Charlie playing the piano for all to enjoy.

What a Wonderful World

Til There Was You

Tuxedo Junction

Just the Way you Look Tonight

Someone to Watch Over Me

That’s All


There’s a Small Hotel

Phantom Sequence

Night & Day


My Funny Valentine

If ( a picture paints a thousand words)

Tea for Two

One – “A Chorus Line”

The Great Pretender

What are you doing the rest of your life?

Leroy Brown

Kansas City

Unchained Melody

Satin Doll


Funeral Service

Friday, December 15, 2023
3:00 PM

Bruton Parish Episcopal Church - Directions
201 West Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185

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  • December 17, 2023
    Dr. Ellen Rudolph says:
    Dear BJ Charlie’s audio selections posted here are so heart-warming. Thank you for them! It is such a fitting way to honor our very dear friend. I will miss him forever.

  • December 14, 2023
    Joann and Mark Weiner says:
    To BJ and family, Our deepest sympathy to you all. In the last few years...Charlie and I would often communicate through social media. Sharing our lives and learning about each other. I will always fondly remember him as my Dad's cousin, his best friend in high school. I even have a picture outside my grandmother Jennie's home of the two of them. Rest In Peace Charlie. Say hello to Dad, my Grandma and Grandpa, give them all hugs for me.

  • December 14, 2023
    Patrick Costa says:
    My deepest condolences to Charlie's family. Charlie was my father's best friend and cousin in their youth. Fishing buddies Charlie would say. Charlie had the unique ability to find and contact my Dad while his health was failing and my Dad was in the hospital. Every single time , he found where my Dad was and called to check on him, right up to the end. So even tho I had only met Charlie once in my 51 years here, I know well of his character and love for his family. His parents were very loving to me as a young child at the "garage market" RIP Charlie, hope you and my Dad and hitting the Stripers!!

  • December 14, 2023
    Robert Ball says:
    My Deepest Sympathies to BJ and the family. My Godfather Charlie was my first music idol. When I was a very young boy, we got a Magnus organ from Santa. When Charlie came to the house for a Christmas visit, my siblings and I showed him how we played. He listened to us and complimented us on playing the organ. My mother, Charlie’s Aunt Madeline, asked Charlie if he could play us something on the organ. He agreed and sat down at the organ and then the fingers started flying. We were all amazed by his talent that we were witnessing. He was my first inspiration of being a musician. I later became a professional musician with my own bands and now operate a music store and music school. I never became the virtuoso that Charlie was but music afforded me a lifestyle that I enjoy just like he was able to do. God Bless you Charlie.

  • December 13, 2023
    Sherrie Oliva says:
    BJ I was so devastated to learn this news!! Charlie was such a part of my family’s lives. From piano lessons to many family celebrations, he shared his talent and friendship with us. My thoughts and heart are with you and all his family . Charlie was truly a special human being!